|North Korean orphans. Source : Han-Schneider International Children's Foundation|
But what you may have missed if you only read news articles is the part about North Korean refugees hiding in China. China has been forcefully sorting out North Korean defectors hiding in China, and deporting them back to North Korea. It is well known that those deported back are subject to death or labor camp. The biggest victims of this deportation policy, it was revealed, are women and their children.
VOA Korea actually has an article focusing on this issue : 미 의회 중국위원회, `중국 내 무국적 탈북 고아 최대 10만 명’ Below is the translation.
In a recently released report by US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, the biggest victims of China's deportation policy on North Korean defectors revealed to be women.
According to the commission, which consists of congressmen from both houses and senior officers from the executive branch, women are quickly becoming prime target for human trafficking because they are afraid of getting deported back to North Korea.
Quoting a data from a NGO, the report stated that 70% of North Korean defectors in China are women, and 9 out of every 10 women are thought to become a victim of human trafficking.
The report also revealed that when a North Korean women gets deported back to North Korea, the children born from the women and Chinese men mostly get abandoned. Because of this, the number of orphaned North Korean children in China have increased as many as 100,000.
Also, children born from North Korean defector women cannot obtain Chinese citizenship, so they cannot get any public services such as medical services and public education.
Despite all this, Chinese government's cracking down on defectors and deportation have only increased in the past year.
Last year in September, Chinese police teamed up with North Korea's special ops unit for arresting defectors and swept across the entire nation to sort out North Korean defectors. About 100 North Korean special ops units were sent, and the Chinese police were armed as well.
The report also stated that Chinese government has been giving out prizes in order to arrest defectors and sympathizers. Chinese citizens and Chinese Koreans who provide information on North Korean defectors get $456 USD, and people who provide help to defectors get fined or given prison sentence.
The commission concluded that the US Congress and the Executive Branch opposes to deportation of North Korean defectors, and strongly insisted that China must do its international duty to the victims of human trafficking, and provide legal alternative to the deportation policy.